A collaborative approach, cross-fertilisation of better practices and technology absorption through integration of processes have led to measurable results in the Tata Steel Group’s performance in the direction of continuous improvement.
Use of iron ore fines
Instead of using only lumps of iron ore, Tata Steel has adopted a combination of techniques for mining, beneficiation, sintering and pelletisation of ore, resulting in reduction in the generation of fines in the mines, and increase in usage of the fines in Iron making.
Use of low grade iron ore
Low-grade ores, with iron content lower than 58% are now used, resulting in increase in mine life and reduction of waste, thereby reducing the need for additional land to dump the waste.
Introduction of techniques such as Dredge Mining from slime pond, alternate use of BHJ (Banded Hematite Jasper) in blast furnace to reduce quartzite and sized ore consumption, replacing pyroxenite in sinter making and recycling of waste materials have resulted in reduction in consumption of iron ore per tonne of hot metal.
Use of low grade coal
A number of steps have been taken at Tata Steel to maximise the use of coal obtained from its mines and the effectiveness of its use has been increased by adopting various methods like:
- Use of inferior / lower grade coal in coke making (stamp charge batteries).
- Coal washing techniques for lumps and fines to reduce the ash level without much loss of carbon value.
- Development of new processes to improve the coal quality without the loss of yield.
- Use of Jhama Coal in steel plant applications.
- Use of advanced blasting-less technology using continuous miner for coal cutting in the deep mines of Jharia.
- Recovering coal values through inorganic bleaching process of middling generated from coal washeries.
- Use of high wall mining to recover left coal of open cast high wall.